CSIRO: new progress in ammonia energy

Australia’s national research organisation CSIRO is contributing valuable R&D across the hydrogen and ammonia value chains. At Ammonia Energy APAC 2023, we’ll hear updates on some key ammonia energy projects at CSIRO: small-scale production, combustion engines, and fuel cells, as well as an ongoing partnership with Fortescue Future Industries to develop & deploy metal membrane technology for ammonia cracking systems.



The University of Amsterdam and TU Delft will lead an academic-industry consortium that will determine the feasibility of combining ammonia-fed solid-oxide fuel cells with internal combustion engines for maritime propulsion. The AmmoniaDrive project just received over €2 million in support from the Dutch government, and is the latest in a series of hybrid and fuel cell-based propulsion projects using ammonia as an onboard fuel.


USDoE Issues H2@Scale Funding Opportunity Announcement

Last month the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) issued a USD$64 million funding opportunity announcement (FOA) on behalf of the H2@Scale program. H2@Scale was launched in 2016 by representatives of several U.S. national laboratories with the goal of moving hydrogen energy technologies toward practical implementation. It is certainly one of the United States’ main vehicles for advancing the hydrogen economy. Given this, the program’s investments will do much to determine whether the U.S. is a leader or follower in ammonia energy. In June 2017, Ammonia Energy reported that “ammonia energy had started to move from the extreme periphery of the H2@Scale conceptual map toward its more trafficked precincts.” The EERE FOA shows that while progress is being made, the journey is not yet complete.


Viking Energy to be retrofit for ammonia fuel in 2024

This morning, it was announced that the "Viking Energy," a supply vessel for Equinor's offshore operations, will be modified to run on a 2 MW direct ammonia fuel cell. This will be a five year project: the technology will be scaled-up on land before being installed on the vessel, which will begin a year of GHG emission-free operations in 2024. The Norwegian partners leading this "world's first" project include shipowner Eidesvik, contractor Equinor, and ammonia producer Yara, as well as Wärtsilä (Wärtsilä Norway), responsible for power technology and ammonia storage and distribution systems, and Prototech, delivering the fuel cell system.


Ontario Tech Develops Its Own Flavor of Direct Ammonia Fuel Cell

How simple can a fuel cell be? How about if it’s a direct ammonia fuel cell? This question came to mind during perusal of a paper that appeared in the June 2019 edition of the journal Chemical Engineering Science. The paper, “Development and performance evaluation of a direct ammonia fuel cell stack,” was written by Osamah Siddiqui and Ibrahim Dincer, both active within the Clean Energy Research Laboratory at Ontario Tech University in Canada. Their design may or may not ever reach the point of commercialization, but there is no denying its essential simplicity.


The Case for Giving Direct Ammonia Fuels Cells a Shot

The Center for Catalytic Science and Technology (CCST) at the University of Delaware has made new strides in the development of a direct ammonia fuel cell (DAFC) suitable for use in transportation applications.  The progress is reported in “An Efficient Direct Ammonia Fuel Cell for Affordable Carbon-Neutral Transportation,” a paper published last month by Yun Zhao and six coauthors in the journal Joule.  The paper gives an impressive account of CCST’s technical advances; and it makes a distinctly compelling case for the relevance of CCST’s work on DAFCs.  In the latter regard, the authors find that ammonia has the “lowest source-to-tank energy cost by a significant margin” relative to other fuels that can be derived from renewably generated electricity.  It is in society’s interest, they strongly imply, to give DAFC technology a chance to compete with hydrogen-based fuel cells in automotive applications.


Development of Catalytic Reactors and Solid Oxide Fuel Cells Systems for Utilization of Ammonia

Hydrogen is the primary fuel source for fuel cells. However, the low volume density and difficulty in storage and transportation are major obstacles for the practical utilization. Among various hydrogen carriers, ammonia is one of the promising candidates because of its high hydrogen density and boiling point and ease in liquefaction and transportation. The reaction temperature of ammonia cracking to nitrogen and hydrogen, being about 600°C or higher, is close to the operating temperature of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). The integration of these two devices is beneficial in terms of heat and energy managements and will lead to the…


Ammonia for Fuel Cells: AFC, SOFC, and PEM

In the last 12 months ... IHI Corporation tested its 1 kW ammonia-fueled solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) in Japan; Project Alkammonia concluded its work on cracked-ammonia-fed alkaline fuel cells (AFC) in the EU; the University of Delaware's project for low-temperature direct ammonia fuel cells (DAFC) continues with funding from the US Department of Energy's ARPA-E; and, in Israel, GenCell launched its commercial 4 kW ammonia-fed AFC with field demonstrations at up to 800 locations across Kenya.